Non Alcoholic Liver Disease (NAFLD) is estimated to affect approximately 30% of adults in developed countries such as Australia and the United States. However, NAFLD is becoming increasingly common in Asia where a prevalence of up to 15% has been reported in China.
The LIVER’S ROLE
The liver is the largest organ in the human body, that regulates fat metabolism and is also responsible for fat-burning in the body. Besides metabolism, other liver functions are to maintain proper detoxification and digestion.
WHAT IS NAFLD?
When fat makes up 10% or more of the liver, the liver is called a ‘fatty liver’. This happens because the liver is unable to break down fat at its regular rate, which leads to the build up. It’s an increasingly condition common in overweight people above the age of 30.
Poor diet, obesity or drugs (pharmaceutical or recreational), and some health issues like diabetes can cause a fatty liver.
There is no one way to a treat fatty liver – it has to be a wholistic approach specific to each patient. If the cause is alcohol consumption, then booze needs to go. (This won’t be the cause in NAFLD but in other cases of ‘Fatty Liver’ it can be.) If it’s obesity, then reducing weight is the key.